Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been ‘expressing concerns’ to Spotify over Covid misinformation

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have been “expressing concerns” to Spotify about Covid-19 misinformation amidst the Joe Rogan controversy.

However the couple say they will still work with the platform on forthcoming streaming projects which are estimated to be worth around 25 million US dollars (£18 million).

Their stance comes after several artists left the company as a result of the controversial content it streams like The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and its vaccine-sceptical views.

Harry and Meghan, who are behind vaccine equity, issued a statement on Sunday through their charity Archewell to say they had expressed concerns to Spotify about the issue since the charity’s inception

They said they also hoped “to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.”

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Comedian Joe Rogan performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club on August 07, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the charity said the couple are “committed to continuing” work with Spotify.

The spokesperson said: “Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day.”

“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of Covid-19 misinformation on its platform.

“We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.

They continued: “We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”

Joni Mitchell said on Saturday that she was removing her catalog from Spotify “in solidarity” with Neil Young whose content is being removed from the platform after he appeared to issue an ultimatum to remove either his work or The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Spotify removed Neil Young’s music after he slammed Joe Rogan’s anti-vax viewers

Spotify has since said it aimed to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and had deleted 20,000 podcast episodes related to Coronavirus since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, said: “We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users.

“In that role, it is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”

The company also published its “long-standing Platform Rules” admitting it had not been “transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly”.

Ek also said Spotify wants to add a content advisory to any podcast episode including chat about Covid-19.

He added: “I trust our policies, the research and expertise that inform their development, and our aspiration to apply them in a way that allows for broad debate and discussion, within the lines.

Following little content emerging from Harry and Meghan, Spotify are also said to be taking the deal they struck with the couple “into their own hands”.

An advert was issued for in-house producers to help deliver on the deal following twelve months of no content being delivered.

New staff have been recruited to work on Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Audio in Los Angeles for podcasts featuring “the voices of high profile women.”

One advert for a senior producer role at production arm Gimlet Projects said: “We’re currently assembling a show team that will build and launch a new original show with Archewell featuring the voices of high profile women.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex struck a big money deal with Spotify to produce content

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have so far produced a 35-minute ‘holiday special’ in December 2020 featuring James Corden and Elton John.

An insider told The Sun: “Spotify has been waiting a long time for some content from Harry and Meghan and now it appears they have finally taken matters into their own hands.

“Hiring a raft of in-house talent on Spotify’s side will ensure they finally squeeze something out of them as they bid to honor their contract.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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